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Daily Prelims Test – 09_September_2021

1. PRANA Portal is launched by which of the following ministries in India?

a)  Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

b) Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

c)  Ministry of Earth Sciences

d) Ministry of Power

Answer: (a) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Explanation:

In NEWS: Bhupender Yadav inaugurates India’s first smog tower in Delhi’s Anand Vihar

●    Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav virtually inaugurated the first functional smog tower in India at Anand Vihar in Delhi.

●    PRANA Portal will be used to track the progress of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in order to comply with India’s commitment to ensure clean air and blue skies to everybody. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    This portal was launched on the occasion of ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’ in non-attainment cities (NAC).

●    Non-attainment cities are those cities that failed to meet the National air quality standards in a five-year period.

●    With India’s efforts, 86 cities showed a better air quality in 2019 and it increased to 104 cities in 2020.

●    PRANA portal will help in tracking physical and financial status of city air action plan implementation. It will also disseminate information on air quality to the public.

●    In order to achieve the target, India has prepared and is implementing city-specific action plans to improve air quality in 132 NACs/Million Plus Cities. It targets city-specific air polluting sources like soil & road dust, vehicles, MSW burning, domestic fuel, construction material and industries.

●    India and Japan are exploring strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially on circular economy and resource efficiency, low carbon technology, green hydrogen, etc. He has also requested Japan to consider joining the Leadership Group for Industry Transition, a global initiative spearheaded by India and Sweden.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/bhupender-yadav-delhi-smog-tower-7495696/

2. Consider the following statements regarding Common Services Centre (CSC) programme:

1) It is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

2) They are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: How CSC network may help expand passport services

●    The CSCs have an extensive network of village-level entrepreneurs who run and operate over 2.5 lakh centres across India.

●    The Common Services Centres (CSC), a special purpose vehicle of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), have received approvals to manage and operate Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) kiosks in rural areas.

Common Services Centre (CSC) programme:

●    Common Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), Government of India. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    CSCs are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    They are positioned as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods.

●    They are enablers of community participation and collective action for engendering social change through a bottom-up approach with key focus on the rural citizen.

●    CSC e-Governance Services India Limited monitors the implementation of the Common Services Centers Scheme.

●    It is a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956.

●    The CSCs have an extensive network of village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) who run and operate over 2.5 lakh centres across India.

●    Most of these centres are present either in rural or semi-urban areas, where internet connectivity is not always the fastest.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-csc-network-may-help-expand-passport-services-7495302/

3. Consider the following statement regarding V.O Chidambaram:

1) He was a follower of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

2) In 1906, he decided to establish an Indian shipping company called the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company.

3) Along with Subramania Siva, he started the Swadeshi Sangam.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Tamil Nadu honours freedom fighter VO Chidambaram; PM says he stood for self-reliance

●    Chidambaranar’s life-size statue, which was decorated with garlands and flowers for the anniversary, is on the Chennai Port premises.

●    Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the contributions of freedom fighter V O Chidambaranar on his 150th birth anniversary while the Tamil Nadu government observed the day as a state event with chief minister M K Stalin and leaders cutting across party lines honouring the state’s icon of the freedom movement.

VOC

●    VOC was born on 5 September 1872 in Ottapidaram, District Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.

●    Graduated from Caldwell College, Tuticorin. Before beginning his law studies, he worked for a brief period as the taluk office clerk.

●    He became a pleader in 1895 practising in Ottapidaram.

●    Joined the Congress Party after the Bengal partition in 1905

●    He was a follower of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    He was a great believer in the Swadeshi movement.

●    In 1906, he decided to establish an Indian shipping company called the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company.Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Along with Subramania Siva, he started the ‘Swadeshi Sangam’. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    Tuticorin Coral Mills strike in 1908 was the turning point in his life. The workers at the British-owned mill decided to go on a strike demanding better pay and a reduction in the number of working hours.

●    He took up the workers’ cause and gave many fiery speeches which drew the people’s attention to the plight of the workers.

●    V.O.C, Siva and Padmanabha Iyengar decided to hold a procession on 9 March 1908 to observe the release of national leader Bipin Chandra Pal from prison. On 12 March 1908, the three leaders including V.O.C, Siva and Iyengar were remanded to the district jail.

●    The court sentenced V.O.C to two life imprisonments for charges of sedition.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/tamil-nadu-honours-freedom-fighter-vo-chidambaram-pm-says-he-stood-for-selfreliance-101630866940290.html

4. AUSINDEX is an exercise between India and which one of the following forces?

a)  Austria Navy

b) Australian Army

c)  Australian Navy

d) Austrian Air force

Answer: (c) Australian Navy

Explanation:

In NEWS: Australia’s biennial AUSINDEX maritime warfare exercises

●    Australia’s Northern Territory will host the biennial AUSINDEX maritime warfare exercises between the Royal Australian and the Indian navies, ahead of the two countries holding their first “2+2″ Foreign and Defence Ministers meet in New Delhi. Hence option (c) is correct.

●    The decision to upgrade “2+2″ talks from the level of foreign and defence secretaries to the level of ministers was taken at a virtual summit between the prime ministers of India and Australia last year.. Foreign minister Marise Payne and defence minister Peter Dutton are expected in India after a visit to the US.

AUSINDEX

●    The 4th edition of AUSINDEX, a bilateral navy exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy has begun from September 06, 2021, and will continue up to September 10, 2021.

●    Indian Navy Task Group comprises INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt. 

●    This edition of AUSINDEX includes complex surface, sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating Navies.

●    Commenced in 2015 as a bilateral IN-RAN maritime exercise, AUSINDEX has grown in complexity over the years and the 3rd edition of the exercise, held in 2019 in the Bay of Bengal, included anti-submarine drills for the first time.

Source: https://newsonair.com/2021/09/06/bilateral-exercise-ausindex-between-indian-navy-royal-australian-navy-begins/

5. Aridity Anomaly Index is released by which one of the following organisations?

a)  India Meteorological Department

b) Indian Space Research Organisation

c)  Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology

d) Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Answer: (a) India Meteorological Department

Explanation:

In NEWS: Over 90% districts in India now face arid conditions

●    As many as 673 out of India’s 733 districts face arid conditions now, a sharp rise from 638 a week ago, according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

●    Overall, despite ‘normal’ rains, almost 90 per cent of the country remains drier than usual even as the kharif (summer) crop season is underway, the latest Aridity Anomaly Outlook Index released by IMD Pune

Drought Monitoring by India Meteorological Department (IMD)

●    India Meteorological Department (IMD) monitors the incidence, spread, intensification and cessation of drought (near real time basis) on a weekly time scale over the country based on Aridity Anomaly Index. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    The index monitors agricultural drought, a situation when rainfall and soil moisture are inadequate to support healthy crop growth till maturity, causing crop stress.

●    It also issues a Weekly Drought Outlook, based on this index, which indicates the impending drought scenario in the country in the subsequent week.

●    Based on aridity anomaly index, weekly Aridity Anomaly Reports and maps for the Southwest Monsoon Season for the whole country and for the Northeast Monsoon Season for the five meteorological subdivisions, viz. coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, south Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry and Kerala

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/over-90-districts-in-india-now-face-arid-conditions-78900

6. Recently, the term Qeqertaq Avannarleq is seen in news, it is

a)  a critically endangered whale shark

b) an arabic arch design

c)  a Taliban occupied region

d) the northernmost island

Answer: (d) the northernmost island

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Island discovered off Greenland is the new speck on the world map

●    Scientists have suggested that the discovery be named ‘Qeqertaq Avannarleq’, which is Greenlandic for “the northernmost island”. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    A group of researchers who went out to collect samples off the coast of Greenland in July found themselves on a tiny, uninhabited and previously unknown island.

●    Measuring 60×30 metres and with a peak of three metres above sea level, it has now become the new northernmost piece of land on Earth.

●    Before this, Oodaaq was marked as the Earth’s northernmost terrain.

●    The new island is made up of seabed mud and moraine, i.e. soil, rock and other material left behind by moving glaciers, and has no vegetation.

●    Global warming has had a severe effect on the ice sheet of Greenland. The new island, which was exposed by shifting pack ice, is, however, not a direct consequence of climate change.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/new-island-near-greenland-qeqertaq-avannarleq-7497856/

7. With respect to Bharatmala Pariyojana, consider the following statements:

1) It is an umbrella program for the highways sector envisaged by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

2) It aims to optimise the efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Centre urged to take up work on satellite ring road around Bengaluru under Bharatmala project

●    Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and urged him to instruct the National Highways Authority of India to take up development of the remaining part of the satellite ring road around Bengaluru under Bharatmala project

Bharatmala Pariyojana:

●    Bharatmala Pariyojana is an umbrella program for the highways sector envisaged by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    It is a program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps.Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The Bharatmala project envisions improving the efficiency of the National Corridor including the Golden-Quadrilateral and North, South –East West corridor by decongesting the choke points through the construction of elevated corridors, bypasses, ring roads, lane expansion, and logistics parks at identified points.

●    The project plan includes the construction of Border Roads of strategic importance along international boundaries and International Connectivity roads to promote trade with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

●    All projects implemented under Bharatmala are to be technically, financially, and economically appraised by an empowered Project Appraisal & Technical Scrutiny Committee to be set up in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/centre-urged-to-take-up-work-on-satellite-ring-road-around-bengaluru-under-bharatmala-project/article36371808.ece

8. Recently, the government V G Somani panel is constituted an eight-member panel for

a)  Framing a new law for drugs, cosmetics and medical devices

b) Guidelines and corporate structure for Indian Private Sector Banks

c)  Preventing stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh

d) Facilitating digital payments

Answer: (a) Framing a new law for drugs, cosmetics and medical devices

Explanation:

In NEWS: Panel to frame new drugs, cosmetics and medical device laws

●    The Central government has constituted a committee for framing/preparing new drugs, cosmetics and medical device laws.

●    The eight-member panel, headed by Drug Controller General of India V.G. Somani is scheduled to submit a draft document . Hence option (a) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/centre-urged-to-take-up-work-on-satellite-ring-road-around-bengaluru-under-bharatmala-project/article36371808.ece

9. Recently, which one of the following international banks signed to develop water supply infrastructure in the state of Jharkhand?

a)  Asian Development Bank

b) World Bank

c)  Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

d) New Development Bank

Answer: (a) Asian Development Bank

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, ADB sign $112 million loan to improve water supply infrastructure in Jharkhand

●    The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $112 million loan to develop water supply infrastructure and strengthen capacities of urban local bodies (ULBs) for improved service delivery in four towns in the state of Jharkhand. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    The project will be ADB’s first urban project in the state and help establish a model for continuous water supply combined with policy reforms for sustainable operation which can be replicated by other low-income states for providing safe drinking water to urban households as envisaged under national Jal Jeevan Mission

●    Four water treatment plants, with a combined capacity of 275 million liters per day, will be established in the project towns to provide safe drinking water meeting the national drinking water quality standards. The project will also establish 940 kilometers of water distribution network to provide continuous water supply to about 115,000 households, including those below the poverty line, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe members, and other vulnerable groups.

●    To ensure sustainability, the project will strengthen the capacity of ULBs on urban service delivery and governance through development of an asset management strategy and training on design and implementation of urban projects. Innovative technologies will be introduced to minimize water losses in water treatment and distribution. The project also includes the use of a supervisory control and data acquisition system for water supply operation, and geographic information system-based asset management in Ranchi.

●    ADB is committed to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1753302

10. The Vital-Vidhwansak, the first monthly journal to have the untouchable people as its target audience was published by

a)  Gopal Baba Walangkar

b) Jyotiba Phule

c)  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

d) Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Answer: (a) Gopal Baba Walangkar

Explanation:

●    Gopal Baba Walangkar, also known as Gopal Krishna, (ca. 1840-1900) is an early example of an activist working to release the untouchable people of India from their historic socio-economic oppression, and is generally considered to be the pioneer of that movement. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    He developed a racial theory to explain the oppression and also published the first journal targeted at the untouchable people. Walangkar claimed that “high-caste people from the south were ‘Australian–Semitic non-Aryans’ and African negroes, that Chitpavan Brahmans were ‘Barbary Jews’, and that the high-caste Marathas’ forebears were ‘Turks'”.

●    In 1888, Walangkar began publishing the monthly journal titled Vital-Vidhwansak (Destroyer of Brahmanical or Ceremonial Pollution), which was the first to have the untouchable people as its target audience.